Two years ago today I got out of the hospital after a bout with a mysterious sickness that almost killed me. I have a really hard time believing that- honestly, it feels as though it’s been an eternity between the day I got out of the hospital and now. It’s even harder to believe that I’ve already celebrated one ‘I Love Life Day‘ and that so much has happened in just one year. I’ve moved. I’ve added rosters of people to the lists of ‘Why My Life Is Wonderful’, inscribed in the walls of my heart.
I am a happy, happy girl.
There are many reasons I love life: My niece (soon to be nieces!), my nephews, my amazing family, each of my incredible and wonderful friends- when Thoreau’s house on Walden Pond was being built, he enlisted the help of his friends in putting the frame and stated “No man was ever more honored in the character of his raisers than I.” I feel that way about every single one of my friends, honestly.
Most importantly, I have a group of girls I love, love, love. I’m one of the people in charge of the Young Women’s organization in my congregation which consists of girls ages 12-17 and helps in the development of their testimony of Christ as their Savior and strengthens their relationship with God, to name a few things. It is the hardest, most rewarding thing I have ever done. I am very much in love with them.
I’d like to highlight the most important things about this ILLD if I may:
If you are going through something incredibly hard, some trial that seems to be crushing you, or a test that seems insurmountable, let me tell you that there is hope and that things do get better. You are a valued member of this earthly family, and you are loved. Things may not be looking up now, but please trust that you will have a chance to look at this tragedy one day to realize that it is the best thing that ever happened to you.
You are bigger than the sorrow (even though the sorrow may feel bigger than you). You are the greatest creation, loved and priceless and needed. Your contributions are valuable and your presence is essential. And even though I may not know you, I love you, and am thankful for the way our lives are interconnected, even if it seems like an impossibility I do believe we are all connected, through many strings, and many people. I am blessed by your efforts. And I am thankful for them.
I always marvel at people who say they pulled themselves up all on their own. My life has been filled with the kindness of strangers, some who became life long friends, others who passed but still made a difference in my life. Not only that, but I look at my life and am thankful to all those who came before me- my ancestors- who made it possible for me to have the possibilities that I do now. I am the result of many people, and I work hard to make them see that their sacrifices were not in vain. And I love them.
For this years “I Love Life” Day I will be breaking a piñata with those girls who have come to mean so much to me, and I plan to write a letter of gratitude and love to at least 28 people in my life.
Here are a few more reasons why I am so happy to be alive, and why I really, really love life:
Reveau (my niece), Zion and Tristan (my nephews) and my soon to be born niece. I love dandelions, and flowers in general. I love mustaches, and beards. I really love sweets, and baking. I love having a body that can take me places. I love the sound of birds flying. I love Scrabble, and I love saying ‘Salud!’ after people sneeze. I love breathing through my gums after I floss, and I love it when the Cowboys win (even if it has been a while, I have faith in you boys!). I love bluebonnets- they’re probably starting to blossom in Texas, home that I love. I love inside jokes, and I love days when I laugh so much my face hurts. I also love days when everything’s been a mess, and horrid and I finally get to lay in my hammock and be done with it. I love thinking about “[taking] this day and [being] done with it” like Emerson said. I love discovering new authors, and falling in love with new books. I love impromptu dance parties. I love talking in a ridiculous voice. I love get togethers with childhood friends. I love it when people I love meet- it’s one of my all time favorite things. I love being healthy. I love how you feel after a good cry, especially if you’ve held it in for a while. I love surprises. I really love cake, and chocolate. I love giving high fives and getting high fives. I really love dancing at the grocery store, or breaking out in song when I know it (and sometimes when I don’t). I love making up songs. And I really, really love singing. And I love babies. I love that some days, it feels as if being deported might be the best thing that ever happened to me. And I love that those days are increasing in number. I love being alive, and am so thankful I am.
But really, I love you.